Halloween stay-cation time
The fun of Halloween
Halloween has become quite the celebrated time of year. For some of us, it is the kickoff to the holiday season. For others it may be a spiritual time and for many, it is a great excuse to scare the living daylights out of friends and family.
There is just something about the thrill that makes Halloween a much anticipated day. Parties are thrown, haunted houses created, scary movie marathons and of course trick or treating all in honor of the scariest day of the year. There is nothing like good food, friends and a splash of horror to make the night complete.
Halloween did not start out as another excuse to party, but nowadays it is almost as popular as New Year's Eve for the social scene. In my personal opinion, I think the large get togethers are less about food and spirits (alcohol in this case) and more about safety in numbers. Safety from what? Who knows, but it has been said that souls rise and the veil between their world and ours is thinnest on Halloween night. Perhaps people feel it's better to be in groups than caught alone in the dark...
Halloween is a lot of fun for the people that celebrate it. However, there are those of us that prefer to stay home on this night. It's not because we fear what ghostly ghouls may be lurking about. It is because we simply have more fun at home.
Preparing for Halloween night in
I look forward to Halloween night all year. The air outside is crisp, the evening is especially dark and who knows what lurks in the shadows across the street. I get my celebration started early in the month of October by decorating my home. I do not go with the cute jack o lanterns and black cat decorations.
Instead, my home is decked out with glass skulls, bladed objects (knives, machetes, swords, axes and the like). Many of these bladed objects are rusty and old, which adds to the creepy effect. Before anyone panics, I do not have any children or pets living in my home. Safety is a priority and trick or treaters are not in any danger of coming into contact with my decorations.
My Halloween décor is in homage to various horror movie weaponry. The skulls are clear glass and sit atop lighted bases. This creates a stunning effect on the ceiling when it is dark! Of course there are candles placed throughout the main areas, including the bathroom, care to play "Bloody Mary" anyone?
The next thing on the docket is to choose my costume. I choose to dress up, even though I stay home, because it is fun. Besides, the trick or treaters and guests always seem to enjoy it. I do not waste money on makeup or costumes. I create my own look with things I already have. I have been a dead prom queen, lumberjack, hillbilly, witch and masked murderer over the years.
The next thing I do is decide who will be spending the evening with me and what we will be doing such as watching horror movies, reading from a favorite book of scary stories or telling our own ghost stories. Of course there are always a nice little selection of sweet treats and snacks to round off the evening.
Unfortunately, even on a fun night like Halloween, safety precautions must be taken. Safety from the living, not the departed. Vandalism, break ins and even violence happen every year on Halloween. I make sure the locks on my windows work (although not as much of a concern since I live on the second floor), door locks work and I have protection near me at all times (bladed objects and other things serve dual roles during Halloween).
Halloween stay-cation tips and ideas
The biggest tip I can give is to be safe. If you have children, especially small children, then tone down the fright fest a bit. You don't kids (or anyone else) to get hurt. My way of decorating has no place if you have children, as accidents can happen easier than you think. Another safety tip is be careful when answering the door for trick or treaters. People dress up on Halloween for fun and others for committing crimes anonymously.
Now that we have the somber part out of the way, let's discuss Halloween stay-cation ideas.
Who doesn't love a good horror and/or psychological thriller? Pick out several movies you want to see and then set the atmosphere. Dim the lights, draw the blinds and turn up the volume! Don't forget the popcorn and mulled cider.
This is how my boyfriend and I like to spend Halloween night. We start by dressing up in our chosen costumes and then take an early evening stroll to the cemetery. We pay respects to the departed, and then head back home. We turn off the lights, light up the skulls and grab our snacks. We watch everything from modern massacres to classic slashers.
Round the kettle
This is a rather fun and sometimes very interesting activity. Take a large pot or crock from a slow cooker and add a large bottle of apple juice. You will also need a wooden spoon, enough cinnamon sticks for each person to have one and whole cloves equally divided among the participants.
Set the pot on the floor in a comfortable room and form a circle around it. Take turns passing the wooden spoon around the circle. The person with the spoon has to tell a ghost story. When they are finished with the story, they add their cinnamon stick to the pot and stir the pot. Then they pass the spoon to the right. When the spoon reaches the first story teller again, then it is time to create a group ghost story. The person begins the story and then tosses in one whole clove, stirs the pot and passes the spoon to the right. This goes on until the cloves are all in the pot.
The pot is then placed on the stove or in the slow cooker base, covered and simmered on low for about two hours. Remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves and enjoy your homemade cider!
Zombies are loose
An indoor version of hide and seek, this game is fun on Halloween because your "zombies" are hiding in plain sight...so to speak. Play this game in a large room or area where you have removed any furniture and objects that can be tripped over or bumped into. This is for safety sake. Make sure all windows are covered so no light can shine through and turn off all of the lights. You can play background sounds to make it more difficult to hear where the zombies are.
The person who is seeking is given a tiny flashlight as their only means of seeing. The object is for the seeker to reach the designated safe spot before a zombie reaches them. If a zombie reaches the seeker first, then the seeker is out and the zombie becomes the seeker and play continues. While the others are playing, the people that are "out" find different spots in the home to hide and jump out unexpectedly.
Key thing to remember is that zombies move slowly and are uncoordinated. Otherwise it would be no fun just running around in the dark!
For any gamers out there, Halloween stay-cation is the perfect time to brush up on your horror game skills. Set the dark and creepy atmosphere in the room and begin your creepy decent into CG (computer generated) hell. Even if you are not a fan of horror games, this might be a nice break from what you normally enjoy. Remember, it's only game...
This may not sound like a whole lot of fun to some of you. Some years ago I would have agreed with you. I am not a gamer. The best it gets for me is playing a cute little farm game here and there. That is until my boyfriend introduced me to the world of horror games. We still are not bonafide gamers, but come Halloween...
These are just some of the things you and your loved ones can do at home on Halloween. Maybe they will help you come up with your own ideas.
Why it's called a Halloween stay-cation
I call it a stay-cation because it is like walking into a totally different place during the month of Halloween. It's like being on vacation at a creepy, dark, haunted house. It's fun for that month of Halloween, things seem surreal but yet comfortable and safe at the same time. The best part is it doesn't cost me anything for the decorating or the costumes.
In the end, we all like the idea of saving money but hate feeling deprived of fun. Having a Halloween stay-cation allows us to save money, be creative, scary and safe. Just a word of caution, if you happen to see me on Halloween, you might want to run!
© 2014 Tammy Cramblett